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Meta snapshot #17 - 22.07- Season of the Griffin

[22.07] Release: 10 new meta decks, new matchups & gameplan info.

A lot has happened in Gwent in the space of the last two weeks. And what usually follows a new expansion release, this was time was simply caused by balance patch including one, however game-changing feature.

The Elder Bear. Yes, this so far forgotten unit received a boost beyond wildest expectations. It is now a 6 power unit for only 4 provisions. On top if it has a Beast tag, which makes it synergize so well with the Beasts archetype, present in most Factions, but especially strong in MO, thanks to amazing Morvuud interaction. The only thing that ruined this OP boost is that Dandelion: Vainglory has finally found a reason to be included in the deck and a perfect target.

Bear meta is here to stay!

Ok, so now that we’re all in good moods, it’s time to face the reality. Wanderers. Released in support of Witchercon, a single new card, that completely overthrew Gwent as we knew it.

It destroyed Devotion decks. Caused thinning to be a thing in every faction. Made NG mill become actually semi-viable instead of meme. Made the whole nerf to NG clog irrelevant. Caused hundreds of players play completely nonsensical games, trying to delay the climax of Geralt, Roach, and Dandelion jumping out altogether from their deck, just to gain 2 or 3 more points, and losing much more due to poor cards sequencing. Pushed thousands of players into buying neutral Kegs, then boast on Reddit how little or many kegs it took them to find it, and laughed at them when 3 days later everyone got it for free. We could continue for much longer, but we don’t need to. The sheer number of decks with Wanderers in our meta review tells the story.

As for Factions impact, the Wanderers, plus a few more subtle changes caused the following:

Nilfgaard is ever-present. Hyperthin, mill, clog is the name of the game, and it feels like Tactical Decision is the single Ability available to NG players these days. And it wins a lot.

Skellige remains where it was, with Wanderers only spicing up the well-known Reckless Flurry set-up a bit, with a separate deck fast forward strategy that thins a lot, and everything else being pretty much experimental at this moment.

Northern Realms continuous to hold strong, with both Siege and Commando Spam deck, and even a mix of them, providing very strong winning chances, through NR-style clogging with commandos (a lot) or major board wipe out (by a lot of bombarding damage).

Monsters have chosen its new champions, a match made in heaven – Koshchey and his beauty She Who Knows – we don’t even include her, but people will still think you have it and saving their Heatwave for a never coming danger. This means you’ll very often outpoint every other deck, by a lot.

Syndicate still rules, and a certain consolation prize is that the strongest Ability is Lined Pockets, which actually requires a lot of thinking, and Jackpot, still very strong, is not a 75% win chance anymore, however still turning what used to require a lot of skill into a lot of boost.

Thank you for your attention, and enjoy our meta review!

 

Edit1. Our Editors pointed out that we have probably missed something in this review.

Edit2. After careful re-reading and re-analyzing, we have added the Wanderers part.

Edit3. Our pro-players have noted that there were once 6 factions in Gwent.

Edit4. We have all come to a conclusion that Patch 9.1 most likely completely removed Scoia’tael, as neither we play those decks, nor can we see them anywhere on the ladder.

 

Tier 1

Syndicate - Pockets Wanderers | 4.5 stars

In this famed Sunset Wanderers meta, we see factions cutting devotion in order to fit this card in. Syndicate is no different and the standard devotion build has been slightly modified in order to fit this card in- alongside Heatwave.

Difficulty: Hard

 

Gameplan:

Mulligan:

In Round 1 you really want a playable hand that can keep reach on red coin and get out of the round on blue coin. The deck can struggle with tempo in the early round and be abused while on blue. You want to mulligan your Flying Redanian and try to look for a Round 1 spender (Sea Jackal is ideal for this) and Justice to try and force a pass.

 

Round 1:

In Round 1 you usually want to generate carryover, play bronzes and find a way to get out of the round, then continue to defend a potential bleed. Dropping something like Witchfinder-Freakshow in Round 1 can potentially be worth it against decks where you really need round control like Commandos, Hyperthin.

 

Round 2:

In Round 2 you want to defend the bleed with as less commitment as possible, Wanderers can help you immensely to achieve this. Cleaver+Drill can usually win you the round singlehandedly however you don’t necessarily need to commit Cleaver if you didn’t play Justice in Round 1. Against some decks you want to bleed (assuming you win Round 1).

 

Round 3:

Once you get to Round 3 the deck usually plays itself, the sequencing is pretty linear- you want to get your engines down as soon as possible and abuse Drill spend as much as possible.

 

Matchups:

Mirror:

You want to make sure you do not lose on even if you are on blue coin. At the same time you don’t necessarily need to win Round 1 since this forces a long Round 3 where you would have first say which is a good spot in the mirror.

 

Northern Realms:

As a control deck, you should have an edge over a Siege engine deck however first say should be quite important. Against commandos you need to be able to draw your answers to defender and Foltest in Round 1 and subsequently be able to win the round since you should not have enough points in a short round.
Bleed or not?
If you win Round 1 against Siege you can bleed to abuse first say and to get the scenario out early. Against Commandos you take a long round.

Who will win?
You should be favoured.

 

Scoia’tael:

Against traps you need to win Round 1 and bleed Round 2 to get out a lot of their traps and/or Eldain. Against any other Scoia’tael deck you should be able to win regardless of the outcome of Round 1 as long as you draw decently.

 

Monsters:

Against Koshchey the matchup isn’t as easy as it used to be with Whoreson Junior and Philippa, however you should still have the edge here since you can control a lot of points on the board. Dropping threatening cards like Drill or Witchfinder when they have 5 cards in hand can put the opponent in an awkward situation where they need to answer your threat but they lose value on Koshchey.
Bleed or not?
You should play a long round.

Who will win?
You should be slightly favoured in this matchup.

 

Skellige:

Reckless Flurry is another deck that suffers against Syndicate decks. Their win condition a lot of the time is being able to win on even and pressure you into overcommitting in the bleed. However, if you are able to get out of Round 1 without losing on even (by playing cards like Justice and Heatwave) you should be in a decent spot for the rest of the game.
Bleed or not?
A long round should favour you.
Who will win?
You are favoured in this matchup.

 

Nilfgaard:

Winning Round 1 against Nilfgaard can either be extremely easy or very challenging depending on both opening hands. Wanderers can make some hands completely unplayable for more than 4-5 cards. However, you should not struggle in a long round. It can be better to either mulligan wanderers in Round 3 or get them out in Round 1 on red to win on even in order to prevent a huge potential Ivar which can be devastating.
Bleed or not?
You can take a long round on winning Round 1.

Who will win?
Usually Nilfgaard has a hard time playing Round 1 so you should be favoured in a long round. However against a hyperthin deck bleeding Round 2 hard can be very effective since they will have very suboptimal cards due to lack of thinning.

 

Syndicate:

Jackpot should have a hard time against Lined Pockets especially because they cannot play deep into Round 1. You can put up an extremely strong bleed and force out a lot of firepower. Drill along with Witchfinder can play for upwards of 30 points in a single turn, completely destroying the opponent board.
Bleed or not?
Bleeding should be the correct line, you can force the opponent to go multiple cards down at opportune pass moments.

Who will win?
It can go either way but you should be slightly favoured here.

Good against:

Reckless Flurry, Commandos

Bad against:

Traps, No unit decks, Mirror matches where the opponent has Philippa

Win condition:

Cleaver, Tunnel Drill, Witchfinder

Cards replacements:

Coerced Blacksmith -> Payday

Tier 2

Nilfgaard - Midrange | 4.25 stars

Besides Cloggers, Ball or Mill, Nilfgaard has one more deck that looks like the best option for this faction – Midrange. After the top 16 qualifiers this deck is more popular and appears to be high tier 1. As a bonus, it’s not too hard to play. Most cards just play for points.

Difficulty: Standard

 

Gameplan:

Mulligan:

You can keep Affan and Mage Assassin to place them on top of the deck thanks to leader ability.

Round 1:

In most matchups it’s good to win the first round thanks to soldiers, Ramon, Dead Man’s Tongue or other midrange cards.

Round 2:

It depends on the matchup but in most cases you should bleed.

Round 3:

Snowdrop with leader ability can give you many points. It is a good combo for the last round.

 

Matchups:

Mirror:

You should try to win first round. It’s good to save Snowdrop and leader ability for the last round. It will give you many points with Affan and Mage Assassin.

 

Northern Realms:

Against Commandos and Siege you should win the first round and try to bleed all leader charges from your opponent. Short round three should be better for you if the enemy can’t get his commandos from the deck.

Bleed or not?

Bleed as long as possible.

Who will win?

In short round Nilfgaard should win.

 

Scoia’tael:

Against Scoia’tael decks, a short last round is better for you. You have an answer for Scenario so you don’t have to be afraid of it.

Bleed or not?

Bleed.

Who will win?

Nilfgaard should win.

 

Monsters:

You have some locks and poisons so you don’t have to be afraid of a long last round. You can go for because in midrange decks you have many answers for big units.

Bleed or not?

You don’t have to bleed.

Who will win?

Nilfgaard probably win this matchup.

 

Skellige:

Midrange should be slightly favoured against Flurry. You have a good long and short round. Locks and poisons are good answers for Greatswords.

Bleed or not?

You don’t have to bleed.

Who will win?

Nilfgaard is favoured against Flurry.

 

Nilfgaard:

Against Cloggers and Mill you have to win the first round.

Bleed or not?

With Mill you should bleed and try to win 2:0.

Against Cloggers you have Heatwave to answer Kolgrim so you can either go for a long round with last say or try to bleed Kolgrim in the second round.

Who will win?

It depends how first round goes for you, if you win you probably win the whole match

 

Syndicate:

Wanderers Pockets matchup is the hardest for Nilfgaard deck. It’s important to win the first round and go for short round three. Ivar is good for the last round as a target for Wanderers.

Bleed or not?

Bleed

Who will win?

Nilfgaard is unfavoured against Pockets.

 

Good against:

Viy, Koschey

Bad against:

SY Pockets

Win condition:

Snowdrop/Leader ability, Ivar Evil-Eye, Maraal

Cards replacements:

Alba Armored Cavalry->Nilfgaardian Knight

Northern Realms - Commandos | 4.25 stars

Commando decks are not quite like other decks. Take the concept of overcommitting in round 1 and throw it out the window. With this deck we want to jam our expensive cards in round 1. Start with defender, then commando, then Foltest. Then pray to God it works. When the combo works it can produce commandos at a rate that will make Lippy players cry. If not, then you still have other ways to spawn more commandos. While some variants run siege, this season Redrame has popularised a version which cuts siege and instead focuses on more carryover with Erland.

Difficulty: Difficult

Gameplan:

Mulligan:

Make sure you do not have more than one copy of a commando in hand. Try looking for your important cards like Foltest and Pavetta. If you played Pavetta in round 2 then be careful as you’re very likely to draw commandos.

Round 1:

You want to stay in the round as long as possible. Establish your defender. Next play out a commando and use leader to pull out a second copy. Then play your Foltest. If your Foltest survives you should win the round. Radovid’s Royal Guard can be used to defend Foltest but play it in the front row to avoid Foltest spawning a copy of it in your deck. If your Foltest dies you should still push. Put as many commandos in the deck. Do not take out more commandos unless you need it to win the round.

Round 2:

Bleed, bleed and bleed some more. It should be easier if you did not click your commandos in round 1 as you can now proceed to pull them out. Shorten the round as much as possible. If all your commandos are in graveyard you can play Pavetta, otherwise save her for round 3. Be careful with Oneiromancy and Amphibious Assault, if you already played them in round 1 you’ll be running into the risk of not finding your key cards.

Round 3:

Hopefully you have access to Pavetta and commandos. Return commandos into the deck. Boost everything with Erland, preferably at adrenaline 3. Then pull out the commandos.

Matchups:

Mirror:

Focus on getting carryover. If your opponent does not play defender take out their Foltest with Seltkirk. If you win round 1 try to bleed if you suspect your opponent is playing siege. If your opponent plays a devotion list save a squirrel and banish their Amphibious Assault to prevent them from replaying Commandos in round 3.

Northern Realms:

Besides mirror games you will mainly face siege. Inspired Zeal siege has Anseis and Seltkirk to potentially deal with your Foltest. Pincer Manouver siege on the other hand has almost no removal so it should be easier to keep Foltest alive in this scenario.

Bleed or Not? Bleed as far as you can. You do not want to face siege in a long round.

Who Will Win? You are favoured against Pincer. Inspired Zeal is a bit more unfavoured but it depends on how quickly they deal with Foltest.

Monster:

Koshchey is still the go-to deck. They have a really good short round.

Bleed or Not? Definitely bleed and try to at least force out a Koshchey.

Who Will Win? Koshchey is favoured.

Skellige:

Reckless Flurry was a lot more difficult matchup several seasons ago when the decks played Lambert. But these days Reckless Flurry decks typically do not run wide punish except Gerd. They also have a limited number of ways to kill Foltest in round 1.

Bleed or Not? Yes. Keep the round as short as possible.

Who Will Win? You should be favoured but it depends on how quickly they answered Foltest in round 1.

Syndicate:

Syndicate although not being as popular this season as last season still has the highest win rate in pro rank. You will mainly see people play Jackpot or Crimes. And both decks have efficient answers to your strategy. But who knows, maybe they missed those answers in round 1.

Bleed or Not? Bleed, especially crimes.

Who Will Win? You are unfavoured.

Scoia’tael:

Poor Scoia’tael sees almost no play. But when it does it is usually nature’s gift. It’s hard for them to answer Foltest quickly.

Bleed or Not? Bleed as much as you can.

Who Will Win? You are favoured.

Good against:

Nilfgaard

Bad against:

Syndicate, Koshchey, Engine decks

Win condition:

Blue Stripes Commandos, Foltest, Pavetta

Cards replacements:

Coodcoodak -> Margarita

Northern Realms - Inspired Zeal Siege | 4.25 stars

Northern Realms is in a good state right now. It’s home to multiple meta decks such as Inspired Zeal Siege, Pincer Manouver Siege or Commandos Siege. It feels like you can make any meme deck good by adding a siege. Why choose this deck over the other NR decks? The deck has more control than other NR decks with Anseis and Seltkirk being able to remove most threats. The deck has quite a lot of points especially in the long round where your siege engines will play for crazy points if unanswered. The deck has its flaws though especially the fact that it is very draw dependent. You need to be talented to get all your golds.

Difficulty: Standard

 

Gameplan:

Mulligan:

Hubert is a brick so always mulligan it. Other than that make sure your Natalis has a warfare card in deck.

Round 1:

Establish your Ban Ard Student. If possible, consider playing a Cintrian Envoy to improve hand quality for future rounds. If things get heated you can use Anseis or Seltkirk for a big point swing. Try not to play more than one siege engine as you need these to activate siege.

Round 2:

Depending on the matchup you want to bleed with siege. But usually you are okay in a long round.

Round 3:

Siege is scary in a long round as it gives you two engines and has a potential to wipe your opponent’s board. Try to save some of your pointslam cards like Gerhart or Shani for a short round.

Matchups:

Mirror:

First say is really advantageous as it allows you develop engines then remove your opponent’s engines. Bleeding with siege is your best strategy.

Northern Realms:

Besides siege decks you will play against commandos. Don’t be scared to commit both Anseis and Seltkirk to deal with Foltest. You can even consider committing siege to win round 1 and go for a long round 3.

Bleed or Not? If you have a very strong round 2 hand and the round is long you can try to 2:0. Otherwise take a long round.

Who Will Win? You should be favoured but that depends on your draws.

Monsters:

Koshchey is an annoying match. Larvas having 2 armor will make your bombardments almost useless. Save your duels for She Who Knows and Koshcheys. If your opponent does not play around your boiling oil you can kill one of the Koshcheys with it.

Bleed or Not? Depending on your hand you can try to bleed out Koshchey but long round is good.

Who Will Win? You are unfavoured.

Nilfgaard:

People typically play hyperthin mill or clog. Hyperthin players often pass early to save wanderers. If they play Triss/Yennifer and Xarthisius you should bleed heavily. Otherwise take a long round. You can also 2:0 mill. Your deck is not consistent so clog will take advantage of that.

Bleed or Not? Bleed mill and the Triss/Yennifer version of hyperthin and try to win 2:0. Take a long round against clog.

Who Will Win? You are unfavoured against clog but favoured against the rest of NG decks.

Skellige:

You will mainly face reckless flurry. They have plenty of control against your engines. Your opponent’s portal and totem also makes your bombardments worse.

Bleed or Not? You prefer a long round.

Who Will Win? You are slightly unfavoured.

Syndicate:

You will mainly play against crimes and Jackpot. Both matchups are difficult as whoreson’s freakshow can completely destroy your entire board.

Bleed or Not? Bleed with siege and hope they missed their key removal cards.

Who Will Win? You are slightly unfavoured.

Scoia’tael:

Almost nobody plays Scoia’tael. But if they do, it’s mainly nature’s gift. You have a good long round against the deck. Killing their Dunca will also make it harder for them to win round 1.

Bleed or Not? No need.

Who Will Win? You are favoured.

Good against:

Swarm Decks

Bad against:

Koshchey, Clog

Win condition:

Siege, Seltkirk, Anseis

Cards replacements:

Margarita -> War Chariot

Syndicate - Jackpot Wanderers | 4.25 stars

Jackpot has been dominating the meta in the recent months and the new addition of Wanderers made the deck even better. You have to give up devotion for it, but that means that you can fit Maxii to make your deck more consistent, so with the thinning tools like Bouncers and Raiders you have some extra reliable tools for drawing all your win-cons.

The Jackpot ability allows you for not caring about going over the coin limit, you won’t really need spenders, which was the worst part of old SY lists.

You are good in a short and long r3, so your preferable round length depends on the opponent’s gameplan. If they are playing deck that need a long r3 (Assimilate, Movement, Ball, etc.) you should shorten the last round as much as you can do.

Difficulty: Medium

 

Gameplan:

Mulligan:

You should always mulligan the Flying Redanian, and a Bouncer/Raider if you drew a second copy of either. Those are all the bricks to avoid.

 

Round 1:

Generally, you can drop a few bronze engines like Tax Collector, Peaches, use Maxii and the thinning cards, Bouncers and Raiders. If you have to win the round depending on the matchup, you can even spend some midrange cards like the Bleinheim brothers, Freak Show, and Kurt. Building up coin carryover and getting out the Flying Redanian is also great.

 

Round 2:

If you lost r1, you can defend the bleed quite nicely, doing everything to stay a card up. If you won r1, you can bleed out your opponent’s wincons, or if they’re playing slow, you can go for a 2:0. If you suspect that your opponent will have a worse r3, you can even drypass.

 

Round 3:

Your powerplays get you great value, like Professor, Whoreson Jr., Sigi+Caesar, Philippa.

Good against:

Mill, Koshchey, Nature’s Gift, Commandos, Zeal Siege

Bad against:

Pockets, Midrange Ball

Win condition:

Drawing your golds, Sigi+Caesar, Professor+Whoreson passive, Bleinheim brothers in a long round

Cards replacements:

Caesar->Salamandra Hideout, Fisstech->Passiflora Peaches, going devo with cutting Wanderers+Maxii->Jacques+Mutants Maker

Tier 3

Monsters - Koschchey Wanderers | 4.0 stars

Koshchey tempo decks have been played, with varying success, since the card was introduced. The relict package, including Gan Ceann, Witch Apprentice, Rat Catcheress, and the Crones, has given this deck a provision efficient core, with large units capable of slamming tempo, proccing thrives and even generating carryover. Add in the endrega larva “nerf,” as well as the absurdly powerful Sunset Wanderers, and you have a potent list capable of burying your opponents in pure, glorious pointslam.

This list’s greatest strength is its flexibility, offering multiple powerful Renew targets, including the Crones, Caranthir, and Rat Catcheress, as well a respectable amount of control. Whether you’re playing a fourteen point Crone or a third Koshchey, Renew will usually have no problem compensating for its twelve provision price tag. 

Sunset Wanderers, as well as being an absolutely broken card, fits into your game plan perfectly. It represents a ticking timebomb, blocking your opponent’s bleed, enabling your own, and even treating your opponent to a hellish r1 if you are going second. Your deck is full of bursty tempo cards that can create an insurmountable lead in the space of one turn when played the turn your Wanderer is summoned from your hand. Wanderers also function as a potent consistency tool when paired with Maxii and Naglfr.  

The midrange nature of the list allows for different variations of the same general idea, so consider the list we’ve included only one of many possibilities. We’ve decided to showcase the Renew version of this list because it has a high point ceiling while remaining very flexible, but cards like Parasite and Heatwave can be fit into alternate lists for a more removal heavy playstyle, and the classic Ozzrel/Yghern combo can be included for a more straightforward playstyle.

In other words, this is definitely the kind of deck that you don’t want to just ctrl + v. It’s recommended to read the card replacement section carefully, and to experiment with your own substitutions to match your own unique playstyle.

Difficulty: Standard

 

Gameplan

Mulligan:

This deck has a lot of mulligan priorities, as since many mechanics rely on graveyard mechanics, what you play in r1 sets up the rest of the game. So, try to build a hand that meets as many of these conditions as possible.

  • Archespore + a consume to activate it (preferably Brewess, as you want to play her first to empower your other Crones)
  • Gan Ceann and other relicts to activate its deploy
  • As many Crones as possible
  • A good Renew target
  • A good Necromancy target

Round 1:

Pay close attention to the order of cards in your hand, and do everything you can to avoid Sunset Wanderers from coming down in this round. Committing Wanderers can be acceptable to win on even when going second in certain matchups, but otherwise it’s overkill. Make sure to play on the same row as much as possible to activate Sabbath, and try to make sure to leave the round with good targets in your graveyard for both Necromancy and Renew.

Round 2:

Usually you want to push, but how much you push depends on the matchup. Using Wanderers for a big tempo play can sometimes force your opponent down a card, so as always pay close attention to where it is in your hand. 

If you’re being bled, you should probably use Wanderers a turn early by playing the card to the right of it when it is on its second to last position. Your opponent is almost certainly going to bleed it anyway, so be as unpredictable as possible. This can prevent your opponent from taking an easy pass. If you get far enough ahead while they’re a card down, suddenly you’re not locked in r2 with them, they’re locked in r2 with you.

Round 3:

Spam as many Koshcheys as possible, and reap the rewards of the carryover you set up in earlier rounds.

 

Matchups:

 

Mirror:

Make sure to reserve your Aguara to either lock your opponent’s Koshchey or unlock one of your own. One of the best ways to gain an advantage is to force your opponent to waste their Wanderers. If you go into r2 or r3 with your Wanderers and they don’t have theirs, you have an enormous advantage.

         

Foltest Commandos:

The bad news is you don’t have much removal, the good news is they don’t either. If Foltest comes down in r1, simply pass. As long as you don’t let them build too much carryover, Double Koshchey will get more value in r3 than their commandos, even in a short round.

Bleed or not?

Yes

Who will win?

You’re favoured. If  you can manage to remove Foltest through defender before he gets much value, you will probably do well. However, even if you tech for that your mulligan might not give you access to both Axii and Heatwave/Aguara.

Siege:

Siege decks have a lot of different lists, so it can be difficult to pin them down. Overall, you want to make sure you don’t give them the opportunity to build a board full of damage dealing engines, as this will make it extremely difficult to get your Koshcheys to stick. The best way to do this is to bleed their scenario, or at least keep r3 short. However, if they run the Foltest/Dun Banner combo. If you don’t draw into Aguara or Heatwave in r1, that alone may force you to pass.

Bleed or no?

Yes

Who will win?

Really depends on whether you win r1. If you bleed important cards in r2, they’ll have a difficult time recovering.

 

Scoia’tael:

The first thing you want to do is climb past rank 15 so you never see this faction again. Jokes aside, win r1 and bleed aggressively. they will have a hard time keeping up with your tempo.

Bleed or no?

Yes

Who will win?

You’re favored

Arachas Swarm:

Your opponent can put out a lot of points in a long round, but their game plan is very combo based. Use your tempo options to take control of the game and make it as awkward as possible for them to set up enough tokens to get value. If r3 is short enough that Koshchey’s adrenaline ability is active quickly, you can fill the board with your own tokens, making cards like Yennefer and Predatory Dive significantly weaker.

Bleed or no?

Yes

Who will win?

You are favored

 

Reckless Flurry:

Flurry runs a lot of removal that’s inconvenient for you. Cards like Heatwave, Hjalmar, and Junod make getting Koshchey to stick extremely difficult. Many also run cards like Tyrggvi and Morkvarg HoT, blunting a lot of your best tempo options. However, even the most control focused Madoc lists don’t have a good answer for Endrega Larva now that flurry doesn’t instakill them. Since a lot of your best cards will probably be removed, you’ll find yourself relying on workhorses like Gan Ceann and Witch Apprentice. Try to keep a consume handy to counter Tyrggvi if possible, especially if you’re generating carryover on a Gan Ceann. If they’re running Madoc, try to play around Red Haze.

Bleed or no?

Your deck is a lot more engine focused than theirs, so you should try to get a long r3.

Who will win?

This matchup is tough, but far from unwinnable

 

Midrange Nilfgaard:

Mulligan for Aguara to deal with their locks and your consume cards to deny their poisons.
Try to use Caranthir with Koshchey in an earlier round so you can play him again with Renew. Hopefully, your opponent will run out of control options and at least one copy of Koshchey will stick.

Bleed or no?

No, they have a lot of short round burst. Either push for a 2-0 or dry pass.

Who will win?

You’re unfavored.

 

Jackpot Wanderers:

Syndicate has a lot of removal, especially if they’re allowed to bank coins for a big Freakshow or Phillipa. Because of this, it is unlikely you will be able to get your Koshcheys to stick. Even worse, Phillipa can steal them. Since your usual win condition is easily negated, you will have to bury them in short round tempo. So, use Koshchey to bleed in r2, and rely on carryover to win r3. Pulling a fourteen point Crone from Renew and a thirteen point Gan Ceann from Necromancy is your best bet.

Bleed or no?

Yes

Who will win?

You’re unfavored

Card replacements:

Aguara -> Heatwave

Necromancy -> Parasite

Witch Apprentice -> Elder Bear

These changes create a list with a lot more removal options, giving it a better matchup versus greedy Foltest decks.

Witch Apprentice 1x -> Ghoul 1x

Ghoul has obvious synergy with Gan Ceann, but in a deck with so many other graveyard conditions it can brick your hand r1 and be a bit clunky to play in general. Also, since Sunset Wanderers is in every single deck right now, everyone is running power reset tech cards. Still, 10 for 5p is nothing to sneeze at, especially in a thrive deck.

Renew -> Heatwave

Kikimore Worker 1x -> Parasite

or

Renew -> Yghern

Necromancy -> Ozzrel

or

Renew -> Oneiromancy

Naglfr -> The Beast

Kikmore Worker 1x -> Parasite

Renew is a powerful card in this list, but twelve provisions is a lot, and the list can function perfectly well without it. If you want another big ticket tech card, or just more breathing room for your midrange golds, removing Renew from the list is an option. These are just a few directions you could go, but this deck has a lot of different builds available. Make sure to experiment!

Sunset Wanderers -> Hahaha in your dreams nerd

Skellige - Flurry/SK Witchers Wanderers | 4.0 stars

This meta has seen a lot of creative decks like…… taking an old meta deck and adding Sunset Wanderers in it. That’s exactly what Reckless Flurry decks did. The deck combines various pointslam cards as well as plenty of control options. There are two ways to play the deck: discard package or portal. We decided to include the portal version of the deck as it is less draw dependant.

Difficulty: Hard

 

Gameplan:

Mulligan:

Always mulligan Bear Witcher Adepts and Madoc. Additionally try to mulligan Bear Witchers as these are your best Quen target.

 

Round 1:

Try to win the round but don’t overcommit. It should be easier on red coin. On blue coin it might be harder. Try to play a bomb so that Madoc comes out. Using Madoc’s order after playing a Greatsword can help keep it out of removal range.

 

Round 2:

Depending on the matchup and hand try to bleed. Usually play portal or Svalblod Totem. Try to force out something good out of your opponent.

 

Round 3:

Depending on how round 1 and 2 went try to outpoint your opponent with pointslam cards like Quen.

Good against:

Siege, Koshchey

Bad against:

Nilfgaard, Syndicate Crimes

Win condition:

Portal, Quen

Cards replacements:

You can try a version with discard package.

Northern Realms - Pincer Siege | 4.0 stars

The deck makes use of Pincer Maneuver, a leader that, while plays for just 4 points offers you the consistency you need to draw your top end golds. This newer iteration of Siege specializes in ‘board destruction’, that is, once you get the Siege down unanswered it is safe to say that your opponent will not have a board left for themselves. The recent rework to Reinforced Ballista makes it the perfect engine to proc the scenario and your opponent will have too many things to answer simultaneously and will end up being unable to answer all the threats you can offer. Foltest with Dun Banners can play for 4 points of passive value each turn which can force your opponent out of the round by itself.

Difficulty: Standard

 

Gameplan:

Mulligan:

You want to have Dun Banner and Foltest on hand.

Round 1:

Dun Banner and Foltest will make big tempo and enemy can have problems to make enough points.

Round 2:

You can pass and go for long round three.

Round 3:

Siege with Siege Engines make many points also Shani or Baron can make big points. Hubert Rejk should summon on table in this round.

Matchups:

Mirror:

First say in last round is good, your Siege will make points one turn befor enemy’s siege and ypou have chance to kill his engines.

Monsters:

Foltest with Dun Banner will make tempo and enemy’s big units can be not enough for him to win first round. If enemy want to win first round he need to commit Heatwave into Foltest.

Bleed or not?
You can go for long round.
Who will win?
Siege is favoured.

Skellige:

Flurry have a lot of removals for engines. It is hard to make tempo agains Skellige decks.

Bleed or not?
Bleed.
Who will win?
Skellige win this matchup.

Nilfgaard:

Nilfgaard Midrange deck have some answers for your engines and Heatwave is answer for Siege. If enemy will commit Heatwave for Foltest in first round you can go for long round 3.

Bleed or not?
You should bleed with Siege if enemy didn’t commit Heatwave in first round.
Who will win?
Nilfgaard is slightly favoured.

Syndicate:

Syndicate decks have many answers for NR engines which is so bad for Siege deck. Syndicate haven’t got 6 points removal and you have Crystal Skull to protect Foltest and this is your chance to win first round.

Bleed or not?
You should go for 2:0 because in long round 3 enemy probably will have enough engines removals.
Who will win?
Syndicate is favoured in this matchup.

Good against:

Scoia’tael

Bad against:

Syndicate, Skellige Flurry

Win condition:

Siege, King Foltest

Nilfgaard - Mill-ion deckless cries | 3.75 stars

Let’s talk about the most skilled deck in the recent past. Since Nilfgaard is the 5head faction, they got all the spicy cards to choose from. But why would you play Ball, Midrange, Hyperthin, Assimilate, Enslave7, Bandits, Kolgrim36 or Cosimo’s Casino, if you can literally destroy your opponent’s deck and play the best deck in the same time? We’ve got you covered: Mill.

Your main strategy is to reduce your opponent’s deck to zero, and when he tries to draw cards, and can’t, hilarity ensues. It counters the types of guys who’d say: „mY gRaNdFaThEr’S dEcK hAs No PaThEtiC cArDs!” because you’d trash their deck with the pathetic and non-pathetic cards as well before they could even say Blue Eyes White Dragon.

But seriously, is there a better feeling in Gwent than watching your opponent struggle, while you destroy their wincon that they failed to draw? Tough luck indeed.

Mill is one of the oldest existing archetypes of TCGs, so you’re not only enjoying Gwent to the fullest, but keeping the traditions alive, and honor the TCG ancestors.

Let’s talk about the main gameplan: As soon your opponent finds out that you’re playing this noble archetype, they’ll most likely try everything in their power to win r1, and 2:0 you while they still have cards. Let’s be honest, nobody would fault them. But if you want to win, then you must fight them to win the round, even overcommit a bit. Your main wincon is to play all 3 rounds, while milling their cards, and if you’d done well, they won’t have any more cards to draw in r3, so you’ll have a huge card advantage.

Mill had a history of not having points, but with the addition of Wanderers, and Snowdrop+Morvran this has changed. Now you can’t be forced out of r1 as easily with a tempo-pass, you have your own points to answer some huge tempo-plays.

Difficulty: Standard

 

Gameplan:

Mulligan:

You should have your milling cards with some tempo. Basically you can use any card to take the round, but Tibor and Golem would be much more useful in r3.

Matchups:

Mirror:

There are no rules in a Mill mirror, since both of you are trying to remove the opponent’s deck, so all your plays should be the most efficient, and you can win by doing value trades, and maxing out your resources. Also, if you’re lucky, you can mill your opponent’s mill cards, and win easily.

Bleed or not: No need for bleeding.

Who will win: The player with better luck. You should start praying for RNGesus.

Hyperthin

This is the easiest matchup ever, since both of you are doing the same thing, reducing your opponent’s deck, which will mean that he’ll lose all his cards to draw by r2.

Bleed or not: Yep, do it for the glory of the Empire!

Who will win: We can’t lose!™

Classic Ball:

This deck also thins decently with DMT, Roderick, Joachim, etc. so you have a good chance of winning.

Bleed or not: You should bleed, bleeding out Ball in r2 is so satisfying. So Bleed it out, and dig deeper in their deck just to throw it away.

Who will win: You, unless you lose r1, then your opponent will try to 2:0 you.

Skellige

Flurry control:

This deck thins a lot so you have a great chance, all you have to do is win r1, and if you can guarantee a 3rd round, you’re good to go.

Bleed or not: Bleed.

Who will win: If you win r1, you’ll win the match, otherwise you get 2:0’d if you don’t draw a great hand.

Scoia’tael

Syndicate

Wanderers Pockets:

Now that’s hard matchup since they don’t thin much, so you should fight hard to win r1, which will be extremely difficult. If you lose the round, they’ll go for a 2:0, and likely succed. You have a chance if you mill their key cards, and they don’t draw them, but the odds are against you.

Bleed or not: Of course.

Who will win: Pockets.

Jackpot Wanderers:

The other SY list plays almost the same, with little thinning, and lots of huge tempo-plays, so winning the essential r1 will be extremely difficult.

Bleed or not: Yeah, do that if you can.

Who will win: Jackpot.

Northern Realms

Inspired Zeal Siege:

They play with little thinning, and really polarized lists, so you’ll either mill their top-end golds, or a 4p trash. Which could decide the match, mind you. But in general you’ll have a hard time to keep up with their r1 tempo, and they’ll be happy to 2:0 you with Siege.

Bleed or not: Yes, bleed.

Who will win: NR is favoured here, unless you get lucky and mill their golds.

Pincer Siege:

Pincer has less points than Zeal, but it can get their golds reliably, so you’ll have an even worse chance finding those gold mill targets. The matchup is basically the same.

Bleed or not: Yep, bleederino.

Who will win: NR. Sadge.

Commandos:

Oh boy, this is an even worse matchup because Pavetta exists. She can single handedly refill your opponent’s deck with a big pile of … ehm, commandos. Which can lose us the game on the spot.

Bleed or not: Yeah, try to do that.

Who will win: NR again. Hm, apparently this deck is not great against NR.

Monsters

Coochie Wanderers:

They have a huge lot of points to take r1, and little thinning, so taking r1 will be super hard.

Bleed or not: Yeah, mill as much cards as you can, if you’re lucky, you could mill their Koshchey.

Who will win: Koshchey.

Kelly:

The list doesn’t have much thinning, but has loads of engines, which will help them take r1. Unfortunately they don’t have certain win-con cards to try and hope milling, but their whole deck works together, and gets great value in a long and short round as well.

Bleed or not: Just do it.

Who will win: Kelly

Arachas Swarm:

It plays with a medium number of thinning, and the swarm builds up slow enough, so you can take r1, or keep going and mill cards while you have reach, that’s almost as good.

Bleed or not: Yeah.

Who will win: You are favoured.

Good against:

Hyperthin, Flurry

Bad against:

NR, SY, Koshchey, Kelly

Win condition:

Emptying their deck, Ivar on a Thicc Wanderer, Snowdrop+Morvran, Vilge-Tibor-Golem when their deck is empty.

Cards replacements:

Spores->Red Haze, Imperial Diplomacy->Ard Feainn Tortoise

Honorable mentions


Scoia'tael - Non devotion gift

With patch 9.1 introducing no relevant changes, Non-Devotion Nature’s Gift remains the most viable option for Scoia’tael. The deck is consistent and has multiple threats that need to be answered ( Francesca, Sorceress of Dol Blathanna, Pavko). It also has multiple control tools, which grants the deck a very flexible gameplan.

Difficulty: Standard

 

Gameplan:

Mulligan:

If you think that the first round will go deep, mulligan your Gord. Keep sorceress and Pavko in hand to get some buffs that will help them stick on board.

Round 1:

Play Dunca to establish carryover. You can also commit one hamadryad to secure the round if necessary.

Round 2:

Since this deck lacks points in comparison to other factions, it is necessary to bleed . Try to abuse your cards that need to be answered like Pavko and Francesca. You go deep as much as possible since the shorter round 3 is the better chance you have to win.

Round 3:

This deck has one of the best short r3 in the game thanks to your massive 15 to 17 gord finisher.

Matchups:

Mirror:

Last say is your win condition since you can answer his Gord while your opponent can’t . Try to win the first round even if you invest some good cards . you shouldn’t bleed in the mirror.

Northern Realms:

Inspired zeal

Bleed or not? Against commandos, it’s better to go for a long r3 since they are favored in short r3 . if they are playing the devotion version with siege, try to bleed out their scenarios and shorten the 3rd round.

Monsters:

Kochshey

Bleed or not? Try to bleed out their Koshcheys even if you lose card advantage . save your heatwave for She Who Knows.

Skellige:

Reckless fury

Bleed or not? This matchup is unfavored in a long r3. You need to go as deep as possible in r2 to make r3 shorter

Nilfgaard:

Tactical decision

Bleed or not? Nilfgaard has multiple tall punishes, making this match up very hard to win. Your only chance is to try to bleed their high end cards and leader.

Syndicate:

Lined pockets and jackpot

Bleed or not? Syndicate has multiple control and tall punish tools so you need to bleed r2 for a shorter r3.

Good against:

Clog (add one purify card to your deck) Masquerade Ball, decks that lack control

Bad against:

Syndicate and Reckless Fury

Win condition:

Gord, Francesca and Pavko sticking on board. Dunca.

Cards replacements:

Pellar ->Whisperer of Dol Blathanna (if you are facing a lot of clog)

squirrel -> abandoned girl

Other decks

Northern Realms

Inspired Zeal

Blue stripes

Royal Inspiration

[MEME] NR Boost is a thing

Mobilization

Pikes in air, swords to sky!

Revenants

Shieldwall

Stockpile

[MEME] Charges OP

Pincer Maneuver

[MEME] Polarized Maneuver

Uprising

Frigate swarm

Scoia'tael

Guerilla tactics

Aglaïs

Invigorate

[MEME] No unit invigorate devotion

Nature’s gift

No decks in the current meta

Precision strike

Movement

Deadeye ambush

Traps

Call of harmony

Harmony

Mahakam forge

No decks in the current meta

Monsters

Carapace

No decks in the current meta

Force of Nature

Koshchey

White frost

Frost

Arachas Swarm

Sneaky Kiki

[MEME] Necrophiliacs Paradise

Fruits of Ysgith

No decks in the current meta

Blood Scent

Overwhelming hunger

[MEME] Sensual Deathwish v2

Skellige

Onslaught

No decks in the current meta

Reckless Flurry

No decks in the current meta

Battle Trance

Mushrooms

Arnachad

Arnachad the honorary Archdruid

Rage of the sea

No decks in the current meta

Patricidal fury

Bear Wicher Mentor Deck

Ursine ritual

Pirates & warriors

Lippy

Meta breaker Ursine

[MEME] Drink Up Me Hearties!

[MEME] Self-mill

Blaze of glory

No decks in the current meta

Nilfgaard

Imprisonment

No decks in the current meta

Imperial formation

Double Cahir soldiers

Tactical Decision

No decks in the current meta

Lockdown

No decks in the current meta

Enslave

Ethical Hyperthin

Double Cross

Yen Ven and the seven Geralts

Imposter

Syndicate

Blood Money

No decks in the current meta

Jackpot

No decks in the current meta

Lined pockets

Off the books

Tributes

Congregate

Typical Congregate

Pirate’s Cove

[MEME] Pirrrates

Hidden cache

No decks in the current meta

Upcoming events

24-25 June Qualifier #2

31 July – 1 August TLG’s Invitational II sponsored by AdvancedGG

3 August 10:00 a.m. CEST – season ends

3 August around 13:00 p.m. CEST – new season starts

21-22 August Open #3

Contributors

Writers, consultants, and editors:

Truzky, Gandalf0271, Gregory_Black, Olsmer, Marcwils, Killerganon, NaDa, Rogbros, Rolero_4, HotAndrej2001, Gregor__. 9kjer, Darthlothins, Patsy_1998, Szamuro, Crythene, Idris_98, and ArtNhr

Manager: KissAndRun

 

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